Twitter Homework: Which Group of Sabres Makes the Better Roster?

Mike Schopp asked a great question with the Twitter poll he sent out asking which group of jersey numbers would net the better all-time Sabres team.

It’s a great question which sparks some juicy debate. Do you go with goaltending (20-99) or the bulk of Buffalo’s retired numbers (0-19)? With the poll favoring 0-19, I have a feeling that the quick answer is representative of the first players you can think of within the two sets of digits he provided. It’s easy to come up with The French Connection, Pat LaFontaine, Mike Ramsey and Jack Eichel and go with 0-19 over Dominik Hasek and numbers 20-99.

But I felt with a little digging you’d find that you can form two very well-rounded teams from both sets of numbers. Teams which scope out to be closer than you may have thought initially. So I took it upon myself to dig into the Sabres’ number history and build what I feel are the two best teams from the groups of numbers provided in Schopp’s poll. Continue reading

Two in the Mailbox: Quarantine Partner, Center Targets and Ryan Miller’s Gear

Quarantine life has us all a little wacky, so it felt like a good time to roll out another mailbag post. Below are questions about who I’d want to be quarantined with, GM candidates and my personal favorite, goalie equipment.

Mike/@mike_mckinnon22 – What was your favorite Ryan Miller setup?

Tough call on this one. Miller wore a really unique set of pads for a number of years that you couldn’t get at retail. They were a combination of a handful of different products that included the old Koho 580s, Vaughn Vision and Heaton 10s (among others). The pads got updated with different graphics over the years so that CCM and Reebok could advertise new retail models, but the pad itself was a unicorn. They were fairly old fashioned, featuring not just knee rolls but shin rolls as well but there was a level of nostalgia that they offered.

Picking my favorite set up of Miller’s is tough since my favorite mask of his debuted in 2011-12 when he added the Buffalo script to the chin of his iconic bison head mask. He had an awesome set of Vaughn V6 pads in 2014 (when he finally abandoned the Frankenpads) and his Koho 580 set from early in his career was elite. However, my favorite is pictured here. The Vector graphic he picked up towards the end of 2005-06 looked awesome in Buffalo’s red and black and remains a cool pad graphic to this day. It wasn’t the greatest retail pad and the graphic looked better on Miller’s pads than at retail, but the arrow graphics played well in the Sabres color scheme. It also looked pretty close to the mismatched RBK Premier blocker he started to wear after breaking his thumb. So that’s my choice. Continue reading

Farewell Captain Clutch

In case you hadn’t heard, Chris Drury played in, and won, the Little League World Series. No fooling.

In a related note, Captain Clutch is calling it a career. After an underwhelming and injury plagued tenure with the New York Rangers, Drury was bought out earlier in the summer and has decided to retire from professional hockey all together.

What this tells me is his degenerative knee condition is more severe than originally expected in July. There were many who figured he would find his was onto a contender’s roster at discounted rate for the 2011-12 campaign. After all his face off skills, penalty killing and other intangibles would be very attractive to a team making a Cup push.

Alas, his injuries likely played a large role in this decision.

Drury was, and will be, one of my favorite players of all time. Ever since his first seasons with Colorado I was a fan of his style and skill. When he was acquired by Buffalo I was ready to do back flips.

Drury was part of some of the best Sabres hockey in the history of the franchise. He, Daniel Briere and the rest of the core players carried the team to the Eastern Conference Finals in back-to-back years in what was one of the most memorable runs I can think of with this team. Then, of course there was the goal. Who else?

And here is an even cooler angle

Continue reading

Could Drury return to Buffalo?

When news broke this morning that Chris Drury would be bought out by the New York Rangers, the fans and media in Buffalo exploded with the though/theory that Captain Clutch might return to the Queen City.

I had a few thoughts on the matter early on regarding the matter. When the news originally broke I didn’t think much of Drury’s impending UFA status other than what he could bring to the table. However, now that everyone and their brother is throwing their opinion in the ring, I feel like I have more thoughts on the matter.

It is my contention that Drury can help the Sabres, for the right price. His current deal runs for a $7M per season, his performance with the Rangers shows he is due for a pay cut. If he is looking to make more than $3M per season, no thank you. If he is willing to take a deal in the $1.5-$2.5 neighborhood then there is room to work. Continue reading

Chris Drury to be bought out by NYR

It appears as if the New York Rangers will buy out the final year of Chris Drury’s massive contract when the NHL buyout period begins on June 15.

Drury’s $7M cap hit on his $35M deal is a crippling contract for the Rangers. He is part of a group of questionable signings that is not limited to guys like Wade Redden from a big free agency summer of 2007. Sabres fans enjoy booing him because he bolted for a king’s ransom from the Blueshirts. Often they forget he had reached a deal, in principle, but paper work and a certain owner kept the contract from being signed. Continue reading